ASTM WK29802

    Work Item: ASTM WK29802 - New Specification for plastics that are innately biodegradable in soil under aerobic conditions

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    Developed by Subcommittee: D20.96 | Committee D20 | Contact Staff Manager

    1. Scope

    This specification covers plastic materials that are designed to ultimately biodegrade when in contact with soil without diminishing the value or utility of the soil or creating any adverse impact on the environment by the degradation products. These plastic materials can be used to make products for horticultural, agricultural and soil erosion control applications (e.g. mulch films) that are applied in or on soil where, after the service life, they can be let aerobically biodegrade. This specification does apply for the temperate zones. This specification defines criteria for showing sufficient inherent biodegradability and absence of negative effects in superficial soil of plastic materials in primary forms (pellets). Said biodegradability is an inherent property of plastics that are designed to start degradation immediately after exposure to soil or other microbiologically active environments. This specification does not cover field performance of products made with biodegradable plastic materials. Lifetime and biodegradation rates in the field of products made with biodegradable plastic materials will generally be affected by thickness and shape.

    Plastics that are biodegradable in soil have many applications such as erosion control, horticulture, agriculture, and so forth. The great value of these products is that they are applied in a natural environment and no effort is needed to remove them after use. There is an increasing demand from the marketplace to differentiate such soil-biodegradable plastics and ensure that plastics used for such applications are safe for the environment.


    plastics; soil biodegradable; biodegradable

    The title and scope are in draft form and are under development within this ASTM Committee.

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    Work Item Status

    Date Initiated:

    Technical Contact:
    Francesco Degli Innocenti


    D20.96 (13-04)

    Negative Votes Need Resolution